‘Architainment’ is how artist Marilyn Schneider describes Sydney’s intended zillion-dollar ‘urban entertainment centre’ at Barangaroo. Her exhibition continues a long running interest in the construction of spectacular global precincts and the architectural bling that goes hand in hand with this style of themed environment. Parallex Plaza is a sculptural installation that reflects on these ideas.
Drawing on imagery she sources from luxury super yacht branding, Schneider explores the subtle language used by corporations to lure people to their clubs. Despite its minimal design, the graphics conjure ideas of ‘sophisticated elegance’ and ‘sumptuous lifestyle’. The language offers to confer a status on those in the know, and allows the viewer to imagine the heady glide between first class air travel and 6 star hotel room to the shiny deck of a manicured yacht, French champagne in hand. The exhibition essay suggests it “acts as an anti-memento mori, encouraging us to imagine ourselves in a cocoon of immortality, furnished with the most elegant finishes.” The journey is one that’s far removed from nature – and, preferably, everything looks the same.
Schneider’s intention is to inaugurate her audience and to reveal how these visuals tap into our insecurities and desires. As pop philosopher Alain de Botton says, “Our minds are susceptible to the influence of external voices telling us what we require to be satisfied, voices that may drown out the faint sounds emitted by our souls…”
Until May 25
MOP Gallery, Chippendale
Pic: Marilyn Schneider, Abstraction as camouflage 2014. Digital collage printed on adhesive vinyl. Courtesy the artist and MOP Gallery.